Strength or Weakness
You have strengths and weaknesses. Your life will be more legible to you, the more you know about your strengths and weaknesses. But also: You decide if something about you is a strength or a weakness.
This feels like it’s just framing? No, this is more than a trick of perspective, more than a feel-good message. Just like every weakness has advantages, every strength has its drawbacks, and it’s really up to you which part you emphasise.
It’s relieving and freeing to embrace what you think of as your weaknesses, your shameful shortcomings, and instead say: “Yes, that’s me, and it’s amazing.”. Let’s try. (Note: This was another post that was easy to write and hard to publish. Initially it contained a lot of phrases like “parts of me are”, which I removed during editing because they were cowardly way around saying “I am”.)
I’m inconsistent. I burn brightly for whatever holds my attention. It assures that I don’t die a slow death of the soul, and that I don’t become numb with routine. I’ll always have something that can nerdsnipe me into monologues. Screw having daily habit streaks when instead I can focus on the exact thing I’m passionate about. I love it.
I lack confidence. I have an inbuilt warning mechanism that protects me from overestimating my skills. It gives me a meta-confidence in the explicit and implicit promises I make about what I can do. It makes sure I know what others are good at, which allows me to get help when I need it, and also makes it easy to give good compliments. It’s amazing. Being reasonably sure that my judgement of myself and others isn’t completely off and does not put undue pressure on people is like a superpower.
I struggle with telephone and video calls. I judge the safety of communications on my skill at executing them. That means: Talking in the same physical space is good, because I execute it well and I love meeting people. And: text communication is amazing. I live and breathe written words and take a deep delight in using Very Online forms of skillful expression. Every time I find somebody else who is into written words and writing words the way I am, I feel happy and connected. If phone call anxiety is the price for that, yeah, sure.
I’m lazy. And don’t tell me lazy isn’t a thing, it’s really anxiety or neurodivergent behaviour or anything else. Those are not wrong, and yet, apart from them, I’m extremely lazy. I’ll not only avoid unreasonable effort, I’ll avoid reasonable or minimal effort, too. My laziness knows no bounds, and no, the upside is emphatically not that I’m good at finding shortcuts and introducing automation. The strength is the laziness in itself. Overworking myself? Probably not an issue, objectively. (Subjectively of course everything feels like too much work.) Laziness affords me a calm distance more often than not. I can avoid reflexive work and think first, see how others are doing, and then, maybe, get off my butt and do something, if it’s really unavoidable. Without laziness, I’d be a wreck.
I don’t think all of these paragraphs are necessarily true: Of course, there are ways to be good at written communication without phone call anxiety, for example. But I do think they are all useful: My laziness tells me that there are much better ways to spend my time than to struggle against myself (how silly is that?!), so I might aswell embrace what I am and see where that leads. In my experience, in embracing attributes like that, they slowly transform into a form that is more integrated and loses a lot of the implied moral and practical downsides.